Via Ekathimerini – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke with his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim on Tuesday evening amid rising tension in the Aegean.
Tsipras reportedly told Yildirim that incidents such as the one on Monday night, when a Turkish coast guard boat rammed a Greek patrol vessel, undermine Turkey’s relations with Greece and the European Union and contravene international law.
The Greek leader called for Turkey to end its breaches of Greece’s air space and territorial waters and for there to be de-escalation in the region. Continue reading Tsipras speaks to Turkish PM amid increasing tension in Aegean
Via Ekathimerini – A Turkish patrol boat reportedly rammed a Greek coast guard vessel that was anchored off the island of Imia in the Aegean at around midnight on Monday.
Via Al-Monitor – This past November, three bodies were found washed ashore the Greek island of Lesbos. They were later identified as a Turkish husband and wife, Huseyin and Nur Maden, and one of their three children. The Madens were teachers in Turkey, but they were among the 150,000 civil servants dismissed from their jobs after the failed coup in July 2016. Some of those dismissed tried to flee to Greece to avoid arrest or find work. More than 12,000 Turks applied for asylum in Europe for the first time in 2017, according to Eurostat. This figure is triple what it was the year preceding the failed coup and is the highest it has been in the past decade. Continue reading A new refugee flow to Europe: Turkish refugees
Via Ekathimerini – In a bid to reduce overcrowding at migrant reception centers on the Aegean islands, the government is to propose to Turkey that asylum seekers who are not high on the list of eligibility for protection be transferred to camps on the mainland and subsequently to Turkey, Kathimerini understands.
“We are asking that we be allowed to conduct returns either directly from the islands or from the mainland in the context of the EU-Turkey joint statement,” a government official told Kathimerini, referring to a deal between Brussels and Ankara signed in March 2016 aimed at curbing migrant smuggling across the Aegean. Continue reading Athens to propose transfer of migrants to Ankara
Via Ekathimerini – An administrative court on Monday issued an order to temporarily freeze a decision to grant asylum to one of eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece after a failed Turkish coup in 2016 with the case to be heard next month. Meanwhile, following a decision by the Greek Police’s immigration unit, the serviceman is to remain in custody until a final decision is issued on his asylum.
The court on Monday accepted an appeal by the Greek state to suspend the ruling which was issued last month by a tribunal. In accordance with the temporary ruling, the serviceman is banned from leaving the country. Continue reading Court freezes decision to grant asylum to Turkish serviceman
Via Deutsche Welle – Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become the first sitting Turkish president to visit Greece in 65 years. Could the EU-Turkey refugee deal be a sticking point during his landmark trip to Athens?
Erdogan is also expected to speak with his Greek hosts about the flow of refugees to Europe. Officially, Athens has signaled its satisfaction with the EU-Turkey Refugee Deal reached in March 2016. One point of the agreement stipulates that Turkey take back refugees that have illegally traveled from Turkish territory to reach Greece’s eastern Aegean islands. In Athens’ view, the agreement is working, as the number of new arrivals has gone down substantially since 2016. The fact that Turkey has only been able or willing to take back 1,400 people since then, however, has caused consternation.
Read the whole article at Deutsche Welle